Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
McAfee Brothers Benchmark
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distilled, Aged & Bottled By Buffalo Trace Distillery
Aged 4 Years
Please enjoy my Benchmark Bonded Bourbon Review!
The “New” Benchmark Bourbons
Have you seen the “new” (as of 2020) additions to the Benchmark bourbon line from Buffalo Trace Distillery? They are: Top Floor, Small Batch, Single Barrel, Bonded and Full Proof. I put “new” in quotes because I don’t really understand the way that these bourbons were introduced. They were all released simultaneous in late 2020, apparently only in Indiana. Then, over a year later, they started showing up elsewhere, including in Kentucky. Since I have a great FOMO, I had to drive to Indiana to get them when they were first released. What can I say???♂️ I’m sure someone else did that too – am I right?
Today we will look at the Benchmark Bonded Bourbon. The only information available is what is on the bottle: “The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 set strict standards for bonded whiskey. This 100 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey aged four years to meet those standards. Enjoy the rich flavor and long smooth finish.”
Let’s taste it:
🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉Nose: Apple, cherry candy, light brown sugar, rye spices and cinnamon; light oak; moderate alcohol
👉Taste: Brown sugar, lightly burnt caramel; touch of butterscotch, too
👉Finish: White pepper and cinnamon spice build throughout the finish; some rye spices and a bit of sweet fruit and brown sugar continue; moderate overall spiciness; fairly long finish with a moderate burn; dry wood increases towards the end and lingers
Benchmark Bonded Bourbon may have the fullest flavors of the bunch, short of the Full Proof, which has 25 proof points on it. The Bonded also is the only one that has noticeable butterscotch. Not sure where that comes from – maybe it is a function of the proof. The balance of flavors is better, too; at least for my palate. It is less fruit forward, with more rich flavors, but still fairly sweet. When I compare it to the regular Benchmark 8, the original version tastes light and thin next to the Bonded.
Benchmark Bonded bourbon is a very easy to drink enjoyable bourbon, and is a nice addition to the value Bottled in Bond family. The flavors are far from complex, but they are fairly classic, if a bit on the sweet side. What’s interesting is that there is more oak presence than I would have expected. The bottle states that the bourbon is aged four years. Since it is a bottled in bond bourbon, there can’t be any older bourbon blended in (it has to be the product of one distilling season), so the woodiness is a bit surprising for its age.
If I had to choose a very satisfying daily drinker from the 6 bottles in the Benchmark (unflavored) bourbon collection, I would have to go with the Bonded. That flavor profile just hits the nail on the head for me. I do enjoy the Full Proof quite a lot, but for a daily drinker that I might have a few pours of, I prefer to stick well below 125 proof. Have you tried the Benchmark Bourbon line? What’s your favorite? Cheers!🥃
I hope you enjoyed my Benchmark Bonded Bourbon Review! Check out all of my Benchmark Bourbon Collection Reviews if you’re interested in learning about all the other bourbons from the Benchmark family. Cheers!🥃
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